Google's interactive e-books will enhance the reading experience of readers as the e-books may seem like a cross between a book and a game.
Google Creative Lab in Australia has partnered with London-based publishing company Visual Editions to create Editions at Play, a series of "unprintable" books that can be viewed on mobile phones. The partnership is aimed at improving the standard e-book and creating interactive environments as found in games.
"We wanted to think about what we could do online that we couldn't do in print. How could we make books that still feel bookish - so they are books that you would read - but that you could experience as well given they are visual," says Anna Gerber, the co-creative director for Editions at Play.
Gerber added that pages in Editions at Play e-books can change, disappear or transform, augmenting the reading experience. Britt Iversen, the co-founder of Visual Editions, says that the project is about benefiting from tools that are already available than creating new apps or technologies.
The project had been under development for about two years and now the first series of e-books are available. The two books that are available for purchase are "Entrances & Exits" by Reif Larsen and "The Truth About Cats & Dogs" by Sam Riviere and Joe Dunthorne.
"Entrances & Exits" will let readers navigate Google Street View and tap on targets so that they can proceed to the next chapter. The expected reading time of the book is one hour.
"The Truth About Cats & Dogs" has two authors and the same story. However, each author tells the story from a different perspective. Readers have the option to switch between authors whenever they want. The estimated reading time of the book is about 30 minutes, but switching authors can increase the reading time.
A few more e-books are expected to be released in April this year.
The e-books are not compatible will all devices. Both the books can be read on Android devices running on Android 4.4 KitKat or above. The e-books work best with the latest Safari or Chrome browsers.
"The Truth About Cats & Dogs" is compatible with the iPhone 5 or above running on iOS 8 or higher. "Entrances & Exits" is compatible with the iPhone 4s and above running on iOS 8 and up.